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Rafa Benitez makes decision on unsettled Isaac Hayden’s Newcastle future

Isaac Hayden and Rafa Benitez.
Isaac Hayden and Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez says unsettled Isaac Hayden will STAY at Newcastle United

Hayden asked to leave at the start of the summer for “family reasons”.

Speaking to the Gazette last month, the midfielder said: “It’s a decision I didn’t come to very easily, but it was a decision I had to make.

“Football’s obviously important to me, but family’s a completely different ball game, and, for me, family takes precedence over football.”

Hayden – who started Wednesday night’s 4-0 defeat to Braga in Portugal – has had more talks with Benitez over his future.

And manager Benitez is confident that the 23-year-old, a target for Brighton and Hove Albion, will still be a United player when the transfer window closes on August 9.

Asked if Hayden would stay, Benitez said: “Yeah, I think so.

“He knows that he has to stay and he was working hard (against Braga).

“So, it’s just a question of maybe these 10 days and when you finish the transfer window the players start realising it’s where we are and we have to perform. “That’s it.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle have completed the singing of striker Yoshinori Muto from Mainz.

The 26-year-old was this week granted a work permit.

“I am very happy to be a player for Newcastle United,” said the Japan international.

“I am really looking forward to playing in front of the fans.

“As the first Japanese Newcastle United player, I am honoured to be a player for such a big club.

“I hope to achieve good results – that is what I am here to do. I would like to perform well and leave my name in Newcastle’s history.”

Benitez added: “I am really pleased to have Yoshinori Muto with us. We were following him for quite a while. Hopefully, he can bring us his energy and workrate and help the team to improve and be better for the new season.”